Do I want to be a mother?
Do I want to grow a person in my body,
or bring a child into my life?
Can I let myself expand till the Universe fits inside?
Do I want to give birth? The gift of birth.
The opportunity to live and move and have a being?
Do I want to feed and nurture? The phrase to me
conjures soft fur, lapping tongues, and the pads of paws.
Can I look into a perfect baby’s eyes,
put my whole heart in their chubby little hands,
and send them off on a yellow bus
for life to have its wicked way with them?
Do I want to attempt to teach another soul
the ropes of a human life when I’m still
dangling from them with my hands tied?
Can I handle another being’s tantrums as well as my own?
Someone else’s deep sensitivities?
Can I surrender to all the ways I will screw up?
The things I will say wrong,
or the decisions that will destroy them?
Can I handle other parents,
the judgments or the over-protection?
Do I want to help with homework,
do spelling tests and algebraic equations?
Can I split the attention and love
I want – I need – to devote to a partner?
Do I want to deal with the screaming, the biting,
the door slamming or the rejection?
Can I walk my germophobic feet into an elementary school
full of sneezing and dirty hands?
Or do I just want to see space reflected in an innocent face,
let their hand curl around my finger,
coo over how sweetly they smile,
and then return them to their mother,
and go home where my own universe
waits in bed with a wife
and assorted animals.
P.S. If you like, check out my Etsy store and support The Humane League!